It could be really tough for stay-at-home dads to transition back to work, especially when they have been at home as caregivers for quite a long time. A majority of those stay-at-home parents have lost their professional contacts and in such situation, they need to put their best foot forward to grab a job that they really deserve.
Instead of responding to random job ads and landing up to a job that is way below their professional level, they need to strategize their job search. Bear in mind that those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Here's a strategic plan for stay-at-home dads:
Plan the transition
It is important for you to plan before going back to work, you have to decide what type of work you are looking for, salary range that you’re expecting, replacement caregivers, and if you want a part-time or a full-time job. You can also decide if you want some drastic career transition like moving to a different or a more specific field. Planning will make your transition really smooth and will land you a job that you deserve and not something that you have to do. At times, you may feel that all those years away from work have left you behind in the race, but that may not be the case. You have to know how to link the things that you've learned while staying at home and taking care of your child with your work.
Take help from your connections
It is obvious that stay-at-home dads have almost lost their professional connections, but just sending a “Remember me?” to your colleagues and ex-employers might help. You can also rely on your personal connections to get a reference for a great job. Even when you are too busy caring for your child, you should spend some time to build your professional network using sites like LinkedIn. After all “It is who you know that gets you there!”
Drafting a resume, a cover letter, and marketing yourself on sites such as LinkedIn are the most important aspects of your job search. Also, there is no need to be ashamed of the career gap you had just to be a caregiver; you can flaunt it in your resume. You could also mention how staying at home helped you in adopting different perceptions towards your work. Don’t forget to mention all the freelancing projects or online courses that you did while staying at home, it may change the game as those experience will show that you were very active in your field even when you were not having a full-time job.
Discuss it with your family
When stay-at-home dads decide that they will be going back to work, they should also bear in mind how their decision will affect their family members. You should get everyone’s feedback before you decide to make the big move. However, if your family members are not much comfortable with you going back to work, you have to decide for yourself. Do what's right for you, what makes you happy.